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Written Agreement

Written agreements record the joint intentions of parents, carers and other significant adults in relation to arrangements for children. For example, there may be an agreement between co-parents as to how much time each of them will spend with their child or children and where that time will be spent. Or, a sperm donor and a lesbian couple may agree what role (if any) he will play in the life of the child who has been conceived as a result of his donation.

Are written agreements legally binding?

They are not legally binding. When the court makes any decision relating to the welfare of a child, it must always have the child’s welfare at the forefront of its consideration. So, the arrangements contained in a written agreement will not bind the court if the Judge does not think what has been agreed is in the best interests of the child.

 

What is the point in a written agreement if it is not legally binding?

Firstly, entering in to a written agreement encourages the parties to think about what arrangements they do want for the child and to discuss these and, hopefully, agree what they are. Many disputes about children result from lack of full and frank discussion and a mismatch of expectations. A written agreement makes the parties think about and discuss what they want so disagreement later is less likely.

Secondly, although a written agreement is not legally binding it is important evidence about what the parties agreed at the time. A Judge would always take this into consideration and is unlikely to override an agreement made between the parties if that agreement does not prejudice the welfare of the child in question.

 

How can The Modern Family Law Company help?

We are experts in family law relating to children. We can advise you about what should be included in a written agreement in your particular circumstances. We will  suggest some things that you may not have already thought of. We might recommend a “round table” meeting between all parties (and their lawyers if appropriate) to discuss the terms of a written agreement. We can draft an agreement for you and advise you about the implications for you or advise you about a written agreement drafted by somebody else. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that any written agreement will be completely “watertight” but we can ensure that it is as robust as it possibly can be. If, for any reason the agreement breaks down, we can advise you about the next steps and represent you, whatever your situation. We will talk and walk you through the process and ensure that your representation is highly skilled to ensure the best possible outcome in your case.

 

How will we support you through the process?

Whatever your situation, we will be there to support you through all the ups and downs of the process. We can refer you to one of our trusted partners e.g. a counsellor or psychotherapist,  if more formal support services are needed.

 

How do I find out more about Written Agreements?

Please Get in Touch via our contact page and we'll be delighted to provide further information.

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